The Toronto Sun n Friday, February 11, 2011

always on the go
Rhythms N Rhymes
just won a Diamond award for excellence in real estate. “I am a good organizer and multi-tasker. I find that I don’t waste time, and I focus pretty intensely on the task at hand. And I’m pretty disciplined — it comes from the crazy deadlines I had during my years in the illustration industry.” Fernandez is an inspiration for those of us who feel that life’s one big treadmill. After a busy day at the office next Monday, it’s likely she’ll whip home to cook up a meal for her kids before heading to Lula Lounge, where she’ll serenade her audience with lovely slow jams from her latest album, Un Solo Beso. While Fernandez is a good choice for a Valentine’s Day concert, her record isn’t a collection of sickly sweet, cheesy Latin ballads. “So much of what is out there in those Latin ballad records doesn’t feel real to me,” Fernandez says, adding that she was chasing a feeling rather than a particular sound on the disc. “I wanted to celebrate my roots, where I came from and who I am as a Spanish woman — something that I’d kept deep inside me for a good part of my life,” confesses the singer who’s blessed with a warm, expressive voice. The ostracism that she and her siblings experienced when the Fernandez family moved to Calgary from Madrid led to her rejecting her culture and going to extremes to fit in. “I remember working with a little tape recorder to hear myself so I could eliminate my accent,” she recalls. “It was ridiculous and I turned to art, music and song writing for solace and for acceptance. Suddenly, because I could draw, sing and play piano I was special, but in a good way.

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Laura Fernandez: Real-estate agent, busy mom, fine singer
Laura Fernandez could easily add motivational speaker to an impressive resume that includes being a mom, real estate agent, broadcaster and singer. This becomes clear when I ask her how on earth she finds the time for her various pursuits. “There is never enough time in a day to get everything done, but it’s OK,” she says matter-of-factly. “I continue the next day. The truth is I don’t think about how much I have to do, I just do it. I’m lucky in that I choose to do things I love, so none of it feels like work or too overwhelming to me. “I look forward to each part of my life and I like the variety,” says Fernandez, who

Rihanna coming to ACC June 7
JaNE StEVENSON Toronto Sun
r&b-pop queen rihanna, who is up for four Grammy awards and is scheduled to perform during Sunday night’s broadcast from L.a., pulls into the air Canada Centre on June 7 for the only Canadian date so far of her Loud tour. Tickets ($19.75, $39.75, $59.50, $69.75 and $99.75) go on sale Wednesday at the aCC box office (no first-day sales), Ticketmaster or by phone at 1-855-9855000 or ticketmaster.ca. Visit www. americanexpress. ca/frontoftheline for information on advance ticket access. in other concert news: n Hip hop artist Nelly plays Kool Haus on March 24, in support of his 2010 release 5.0, with tickets, $29.50 and $39.50, on sale Saturday (Feb. 12) at Ticketmaster, rotate This, Soundscapes & Play de record, by phone 416-870-8000 or online at Ticketmaster. ca, or unionevents.com. n Tickets for the March 25 Juno Cup at ricoh Coliseum, featuring former NHLers against Canadian musicans, are on sale now at Ticketmaster.ca, or by phone at 1-855-9855000. Proceeds benefit MusiCounts. Prices are $19.75 for a single ticket, or $99 for a family pack of six. n Motley Crue’s Nikki Sixx will discuss his new book and new Sixx:AM album — both titled This is Gonna Hurt — at the Fairmont royal york Hotel on March 10, during Canadian Music Week in Toronto. Visit cmw.net to register for your Canadian Music Week delegate pass.
jane.stevenson@sunmedia.ca

ErrOl NaZarEtH

HEAR
t: Errol’s can’t-miss lis
if you’re fiendin’ for some blues on a Saturday afternoon, swing by The rex at noon to hear Danny Marks. There’s no cover but don’t ignore the hat when it’s passed around between sets. 194 Queen W. Church comes to Harbourfront’s brigantine room Sunday when the U of T Gospel Choir, Brian Hamilton & Divine Worship, and Echo Of Praise perform at Gospelfest. 2 p.m. Free. Soul and blues belter Shakura S’Aida is at Joe Mama’s every Monday evening this month. No cover but dinner reservations are recommended. 7:30 p.m. 327 King St. W.

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“Still, I wrote in English and resisted speaking Spanish to my siblings outside our home,” Fernandez adds. “I wanted to be accepted, I didn’t want to be different and it took me this long to really celebrate who I am inside, where I come from and what I have to offer as a Spanish-Canadian.” Incidentally, Fernandez’ first disc, The Other Side, featured only one song sung in Spanish. She says Mi Amor generated a lot of response

and that it “brought me to this place.” She says a friend asked her why she didn’t write in Spanish and challenged her to do it. “The truth is that I didn’t know if I would be able to,” she confides. “In order to write and genuinely create in another language, you can’t translate. You have to feel and dream in that language and I had to open up the Spanish side of me that I had kept

tame for so long. “In an odd way I feel liberated.” Laura Fernandez, along with Don Naduriak, Luisito Orbegoso, Noah Zacharin and Roberto Riveron, are at Lula Lounge Monday. 7 p.m. $20. And you can hear her hosting Café Latino every Saturday at 4 p.m on Jazz FM (91.1)

Visit Errol’s blog at www. musicinthemessage. blogspot.com.

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